Letters for November 13, 2008

Letter of the week
He’s sorry

An open letter to gay and lesbian Californians:

I want to apologize. When California voted yes on 8—out of fear and superstition—they spit on you. They told your children, “You do not deserve to have married parents.” They told you that despite service, despite years of paying taxes, despite community involvement, “You do not deserve this right.”

The majority showed that they are swayed by selfishness. Maybe they believe that if you have this right, their own marriages will be worth less. I am sorry for that pathetic fear. I hope you can forgive them.

But not just them; the rest of us didn’t fight hard enough. We stopped at yard signs, or standing up for our friends. We should have phone banked, walked precincts, put up more signs and talked to more conservative voters every day. We didn’t, and because we have allowed those who could not defend themselves to be stripped of their rights, we don’t deserve those rights either.

My apology is not for those who voted yes, but for myself, for not doing enough. I’m sorry: I wouldn’t blame you for not being able to forgive me, because it’s way too little, way too late.

Joshua Lurie-Terrell

Affirmative (writing) action

Re “Hell’s half acre” by R.V. Scheide (SN&R Feature, November 6) and “Sunday rolling in Oak Park” by Jackson Griffith (SN&R Two Wheels Good, November 6):

I just wanna say that [the November 6] issue was to my (so-called) mind one of the finest I’ve seen from a habitually fine publication. I was mesmerized by it from beginning to end.

It did a little—no, a lot—of all the things good journalism does: spoke for the downtrodden, disseminated timely information and advice, celebrated diversity, exposed wrongdoing, and all with a strong emphasis on the affirmative, as well as being larded throughout with pithy conjectures upon the nature of being.

And for my perhaps still rather unique taste—I don’t really know—the very favorite was the one which took us all cycling through the western blocks of Oak Park. Some might have found it a bit dull; those are the ones who still think disaster is news, instead of what we are feeding without “news.”

Someday, the sight of an ecstatically happy child running to take an (organic) popsicle from its smiling mother’s hand will be on the front page, above the fold.

And that will be a much more peaceful day for us all.

Name withheld by request

Goodbye, Greg

Re “The Cat Man goeth” by Cosmo Garvin (SN&R Frontlines, November 6):

Greg Carr. He and I were best friends throughout junior high school. James Rutter [Middle School], to be exact. He lived in the house behind us in Valley Hi, south Sacramento. We were inseparable. After junior high we kind of lost touch. I moved to Idaho in 1972, and we never spoke again. I ran across his father and one of his sisters years later, but Greg and I never re-established contact.

Saturday night, November 1, my wife and I were at a Three Dog Night concert, and the tunes reminded me of the Greg Carr days when we would cut school, go hide under a neighborhood bridge and listen to his radio all day. There were a lot of Three Dog Night songs playing on KROY in those days. These memories made me think about trying to get in touch with Greg, after all of these years. The next day, November 2, my mother e-mailed me with the news. She saw his death notice in The Sacramento Bee.

I did a Google search and found your article in SN&R. I had no idea Greg was living the life he was. I know he helped several people find religion at one time. It just floors me that he checked out like he did.

Mr. Garvin, I’m grateful for your article on Greg. This is the only insight I’ve had into my friend’s life, post-Rutter years. And Mr. Goodykoontz, thank you so much for the photo you provided. Now I can at least say I “saw” Greg one more time.

I was wondering why there were so few entries in the Guest Book connected to his death notice in the Bee. Now I kind of know.

Cat Man, huh? What a long, strange trip it’s been.

Craig Hawkley
Bismarck, N.D.

K.J.'s true colors

Re “Mayor’s race was rigged!” by Cosmo Garvin (SN&R Bites, November 6):

Kevin Johnson isn’t at all like Barack Obama. He’s more like O.J. Simpson.

It’s a sad day when folks are so smitten with celebrity status that they would choose someone with no sense of judgment, questionable morals, poor grammar and potentially illegal activities over a rock-solid woman who has worked tirelessly for the betterment of Sacramento.

K.J. wants to put Sacramento on the map. Unfortunately, the only publicity we’ll get will be the negative publicity from his [term] as mayor. It’s a matter of time before he shows his true colors.

Karen Gunby

Good ol’ days

Re “Obamajuana” by R.V. Scheide (SN&R Race to the Bottom, November 6):

Kudos to R.V. Scheide for this outstanding column. We need to imagine what it would be like without drug prohibition.

Imagine if the United States was once again the “Land of the Free” instead of the most incarcerated nation in the history of human civilization. Imagine if the American people could feel safe and secure in their own homes and on the streets of our cities and towns throughout America. Imagine if we had no “drug-related crime.” Imagine if our overall crime rate was a small fraction of our current crime rate.

We once had such a situation here in the United States. Prior to the passage of the Harrison Narcotics Act of 1914, the term “drug-related crime” didn’t exist. Drug lords, drug cartels or even drug dealers, as we know them today, didn’t exist either. Back then, all types of recreational drugs were legally sold to anybody with no questions asked for pennies per dose in grocery stores and pharmacies.

Did we have a lot more drug addicts then compared to now? No. We had about the same percentage of our population addicted to drugs, according to U.S. federal Judge John L. Kane of Colorado.

For the sake of our children, can we relegalize our now-illegal drugs and sell them licensed business establishments? This would put the drug dealers and drug lords out of business overnight.

Kirk Muse
Mesa, Ariz.

A (sorta) marriage proposal

Re “We’ve been warned” (SN&R Letter of the Week, October 30) and “Warned about nothing” (SN&R Letters, November 6):

Can someone please tell me what part of the words “eliminates rights” is not unconstitutional? Yet that’s how Proposition 8 opens. Prop 8 is discrimination, pure and simple. Prop. 8 is based on personal beliefs, which have absolutely no place in governmental procedure.

And as far as Margie Phelps is concerned, our “sins” are between us and God and are none of your damn business. We’ll answer to Him if we must come Judgment Day, but quite frankly (and I speak as a lifelong Catholic), if God really is a dirty old man who has nothing better to do than peek in our bedroom windows and denounce “fags,” then I personally would rather burn in Hell than spend eternity in Heaven with a hateful Heavenly Father and His narrow-minded herd.

And hey, Diane Church! If ever I decide to become a lesbian (because we all know that homosexuality is a choice, right?), will you marry me?

Melanie Roth

Next time, endorse earlier

Re “Now get voting!” (SN&R Editorial, October 30):

I enjoyed your analysis and recommendations for the propositions.

Even though I think of myself as conservative (at least until this election), I thought your “mini-reviews” had a balanced analysis.

Maybe I missed an earlier list, but I sure wish I had that copy of the SN&R before I voted. I read that as many as 40 percent of the voters cast absentee ballots this year. Perhaps next time you could publish your recommendations before the ballots are cast.

Doug Drake
via e-mail

It’s not crime, it’s the lack of response to crime

Re “Fake it ’til you make it” by Cosmo Garvin (SN&R Bites, October 30):

While I agree with Bites that Kevin Johnson definitely inflated general crime fears in this community, I think that a more detailed explanation of why he was able to do so is in order. I should also preface my remarks by stating quite clearly that I voted for Heather Fargo and have been no fan of Johnson’s exploitation of this issue. However, though general crime statistics are about where they were in the 1990s, I think that there is a growing sense of helplessness that many in the community feel about the city’s ability to respond.

For example, I live in a generally safe middle-class neighborhood, but have had my car broken into five times and outright stolen once. If not for the intervention of alert neighbors, it may have been stolen a few more times. When I contacted the police department, they were generally useless, with the twin indignities of indifference and having to file a report online rather than in person. Even when my neighbor got the license-plate number and had descriptions of the suspects, it took the police department about two weeks to get back to me, and they never got back to me after that when I responded to their voice-mail message. In response, I have to put my car into the garage every night and look a little more fearfully at my own neighborhood.

I think the problem for many people out here in the community is more the ineptitude of the city in their response to these problems than actual crime figures and a general feeling that the police department is largely useless to aid crime victims and catch perpetrators. This is what Kevin Johnson was tapping into. Rather than throw more money at the problem, which is what Johnson is proposing, I’d like to see a mayor and police chief that would be willing to work on more innovative community-policing methods that would produce actual results.

James May

Fooled again

Re “We’ve been warned” (SN&R Letter of the Week, October 30) and “Things to do in Sacramento with a megaphone” by Kel Munger (SN&R Feature, October 23):

Speaking as an agnostic/discordian, I feel that if there really was a devil, then one of his greatest tricks would be to fool people into doing his work by convincing them that they were doing God’s. I think that people like the Dividers and members of the Westboro Baptist Church are prime examples of this.

I voted no on 8, and [I’m] proud of it.

Pat Carson Jr.
via e-mail

Respect this road!

Re “Best place for seriously illegal speeding” by R.V. Scheide (SN&R Best of Sacramento, September 25):

Great article. It’s really accurate, too.

I love this road and have been down it dozens of times, but I learned a hard lesson. About a month ago, I went down, not at 100 mph (thank God!), but still at a painful 40 mph or so. I broke my collarbone and wrecked my baby, an ’07 Kawasaki ZX-6R. I thought I knew the road and was not paying as much attention as I should have, and caught some gravel with my front tire. Thankfully, where I went down there was no fence, tree, pole or rail, just a slight hill with some dry grass and small rocks.

This road is risky if you start pushing the speeds and your skills. I will definitely be going down this road again, but with greater respect and more awareness. Enjoy this road, but be careful! Watch out for gravel and debris, and respect this road!

Rodion Korniyenko
North Highlands